The Ottoman Armenian Tragedy is a Genuine Historic Controversy
Feroz Ahmad
Feroz Ahmad
Arend Jan Boekestijn
Brendon J. Cannon
Mary Schaeffer Conroy
Youssef Courbage
Paul Dumont
Bertil Duner
Gwynne Dyer
Edward J. Erickson
Philippe Fargues
Michael M. Gunter
Paul Henze
Eberhard Jäckel
Firuz Kazemzadeh
Yitzchak Kerem
William L. Langer
Bernard Lewis
Guenter Lewy
Heath W. Lowry
Andrew Mango
Robert Mantran
Justin McCarthy
Michael E. Meeker
Hikmet Ozdemir
Stephen Pope
Michael Radu
Jeremy Salt
Stanford Shaw
Norman Stone
Hew Strachan
Elizabeth-Anne Wheal
Brian G. Williams
Gilles Veinstein
Malcolm Yapp
Thierry Zarcone
Robert F. Zeidner

Chair of the Department of International Relations and Political Science at Yeditepe University in Istanbul

major publications

relevant publications

Source: The Young Turks and the Ottoman Nationalities, University of Utah Press, 2014.

“The Ottomans practiced a premodern variety of imperialism, perhaps comparable to the Roman Empire, exploiting conquered territories for tribute rather than for raw materials or markets or places to invest capital, as later empires did. But like other empires the Ottomans were faced with the challenge of decolonization when subject peoples began to assume new identities…The Ottoman ruling class, like other imperial rulers, naturally saw the entire process of decolonization as rebellion and betrayal by the subjects.” P. 2

“The leaders of the various nationalities had come to believe that they could obtain concessions, and even independence, from the Porte only if the great Powers intervened on their behalf…Some Armenian revolutionary factions remained convinced that they cold bring about foreign intervention by committing outrages against the Sublime Porte that would provoke the Ottomans into carrying out massacres against the Armenian community.” P. 8

“On September 30, 1895, Armenian revolutionaries (many of them foreign citizens) gathered in the Kumkapı and Kadırga districts of Istanbul where the Armenians lived and led a demonstration against the Porte. The army confronted them at Sultanahmet Square, however, and the ensuing violence lasted three days…The following year, on August 24, 1896, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out a more daring operation. Armed with homemade bombs, they occupied the Anglo-French Ottoman bank and took hostages before police besieged the building…On July 21, 1905, Armenian revolutionaries hoping to bring about ‘regime change’ in collaboration with the Young Turk opposition, attempted to assassinate Sultan Abdülhamid in Yıldız Mosque, killing twenty-six and wounding fifty-six.” P. 8-9

“The manipulation of the Armenians…became an instrument of Russian policy for furthering Russian power and diminishing the power of European rivals.” P. 22

“When the empire did not fall in 1913, most Ottoman publications took care not to denounce all Armenians as disloyal—only the Armenians of Thrace who had supported Antranig Pasha. The Ottomans hoped that the Armenians of Anatolia would continue to remain part of the empire alongside Turks, Greeks, Jews, and Arabs. When the First World War broke out, Armenian revolutionaries again anticipated the end of the Ottoman Empire if the Unionists entered the war on the German side. They calculated that the Entente would defeat Germany. By siding with England, France, and Russia they saw their opportunity to create their own state. That was a rational choice that any nationalist movement might have made.” P. 141

“Richard Hovanissian is correct to note that ‘Turkish publications during the World War referred to the Armenian decision at Erzerum [in 1914] as proof of disloyalty.’ That was to be expected from publications of an imperial power, especially one at war and under strict censorship. It is more surprising that many writers in Turkey today, long after the fall of the Ottomans, continue to see the struggle of the nationalities as betrayal and a stab in the back other than as nationalist struggles and the decolonization of an empire. Other scholars view the struggle during the war as a civil war…Postimperial writing on the Ottomans fails to see the struggles of nationalities as the effort to create national liberation movements against a dynastic empire in the process of decolonization. The final such conflict against the Ottoman dynasty was Turkey’s own national struggle, in which the nationalists were led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha.” P. 140-141


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